You can have a swab test to check if you have coronavirus (COVID-19) now.
You can choose to take the test:
- at a test site near you today
- with a home test kit
This service is for people of all ages in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
There is another test, the antibody test to check if you’ve had coronavirus. This is not widely available yet.
Who can get a test
Anyone with coronavirus symptoms can get a test. Coronavirus symptoms are:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
- a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste
You can get a test for someone you live with if they have these symptoms. Do not get tests for people you live with who do not have these symptoms.
If you’re asked to get a test
You can also get a test if:
- you live in England and have been told to have a test before you go into hospital, for example, for surgery
- your local council asks you to get a test
- you’re taking part in a government pilot project
Only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.
Do not use this service to get a test if you’re travelling abroad. You can pay for a private test.
When to get a test
If you have coronavirus symptoms, you need to get a test done as soon as possible. You need to get the test done in the first 5 days of having symptoms.
Book a visit to a test site to have the test today. Or order a home test kit if you cannot get to a test site.
On days 1 to 4, you can get tested at a site or at home. If you’re ordering a home test kit on day 4, do so by 3pm.
On day 5, you need to go to a test site. It’s too late to order a home test kit
This service is currently very busy. If you cannot book a test now, or the location or time are not convenient, try again in a few hours.
Get help applying
If no tests are available online, do not call helplines to get a test. No extra tests are available through the helplines.
If you have other problems using the online service, call:
- 119 if you’re in England, Wales or Northern Ireland
- 0300 303 2713 if you’re in Scotland
Lines are open 7am to 11pm.
Stay at home if you have symptoms
If you’re getting a test because you have symptoms, you and anyone you live with must self-isolate until you get your result. This also applies to anyone in your support bubble (where someone who lives alone – or just with their children – can meet people from 1 other household).
You must also self-isolate if you cannot get a test because it’s more than 5 days since your symptoms started.
What the test involves
The test involves taking a swab of the inside of your nose and the back of your throat, using a long cotton bud.
You can do the swab yourself (if you are aged 12 or over) or someone can do it for you. Parents or guardians have to swab test children aged 11 or under.
Getting a test for someone else
If other people you live with have symptoms, you can order tests for up to 3 of them.
If you’re applying for someone who’s 13 or over, check that they’re happy for you to get a test for them.
If you need medical advice about your symptoms
Get help at:
Call 999 if you feel very unwell or think there’s something seriously wrong.